Published: 02nd June 2021
This Instagram page run by doctors, med students is giving patients medical help via DM!
COVID Lifeline India is an Instagram page that belongs to a group of doctors and medical students offering counselling, information and advice to patients
While there is a lot of information out there on the Coronavirus and the kind of medicines and treatment it requires, they need to be verified at every step and one shouldn't always believe everything they read. However, to combat this kind of misinformation, who can do it better than doctors themselves? That's exactly how this Instagram page was set up to provide relevant information on COVID medication, offer consultation and counselling to patients in need. COVID Lifeline India debuted on Instagram in April and belongs to a group of doctors and medical students offering counselling, information and advice on treatment to patients to know the best practices and counter mental health issues. All you have to do is just DM them!
Through interesting and interactive infographics and posts, these doctors who are mostly from New Delhi, also provide relevant information on the drug Remdesivir, which they say is not life-saving and should not be used unnecessarily. They also post about techniques such as proning, which can save lives of patients under home isolation who have low oxygen levels, in emergency situations. "I remember counselling a patient whose father passed away because he couldn't procure Remdesivir. I had to explain it to him that it wasn't his fault and there is no guarantee that getting the drug would have cured his father," says Dr Saksham Sharma, founder of COVID Lifeline India.
The team members: Dr Suramya Maheshwari, Dr Yash Yadav, Dr Tanya Sharma, Zeenat Sarvar, Dr Saksham Sharma, Dr Vaibhav Agrawal (in order of photos)
He began the page with one of his batchmates from college and then were joined by other doctors and medical students. "With the second wave the load of cases is too much, patients with mild and moderate infection were being handed prescriptions through consultations or tele-consultations as the doctors are also overwhelmed with the number of requests and cases each day. Hence, we decided to start this page to guide such patients. If a doctor has written a particular prescription, there are times that the same drug isn't available and we suggest an alternative. They have general queries with test reports. At this point, irrespective of test results, when people have symptoms, they should be careful and take precautions immediately. Early five days are the most important," explains Dr Saksham, stating why he started the Insta page in the first place.
The team is also actively serving as frontline workers but still makes time to attend to patients on Insta as it is the need of the hour. Sometimes when they have hundreds of queries, the team prioritises according to urgency. Currently, they are taking in queries only through their Insta page as the process is seamless.
The team of doctors is also providing mental health support and counseling to people who seek guidance. "People are traumatised, they are scared. For instance, someone who has both their parents positive, but he or she is fit and fine, they are still paranoid and worried. And that is impacting their mental health. For anyone to recover from a disease, the willpower and hope is equally important as is medication," he adds.